Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Child who may have Asperger's voted out of kindergarten class

Alex Barton

A Port St. Lucie, Fla., kindergarten teacher is being reassigned after she had her students vote on whether 5-year-old Alex Barton could stay in the class. The class voted 14-2 to oust him from the class May 21, according to the Scripps Treasure Coast newspapers. (The reporter on the story talks to MSNBC here.)

The teacher at Morningside Elementary School teacher, Wendy Portillo, apparently called for the vote because of Alex's disciplinary problems. She has removed from classroom duties after the incident, according to St. Lucie County School district spokesman Janice Karst.

Alex Barton's mother, Melissa, says Alex is currently being tested for Asperger's Disorder, a type of autism.

Before the vote, his classmates said what they didn't like about Alex, calling him "disgusting" and "annoying," Melissa Barton said.

"He was incredibly upset," she said. "The only friend he has ever made in his life was forced to do this."

"I never thought she would subject my child to such mental abuse," Barton said of the teacher on WPTV.

Barton says she is considering legal action, and Alex won't be returning to the elementary school. He starts screaming when she takes him with her to drop off his siblings at school, she said.